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The Baking Frenzy

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Well the Christmas holiday is right around the corner, and I suppose you could say I’ve gone a bit mad with the baking. Christmas Eve will be celebrated at Boyfriend’s family home (his cousin’s) to be  exact. I usually bring dessert or some sort of after dinner treat, simply because it’s what I do. Growing up I was taught that the Hostess had to have something for herself, a bottle of wine, some nice cheese, a spa set, etc, and she shouldn’t ever have to worry about dessert.

Well, I have taken care of dessert, and then some!

First, I started off with  some chocolate crackle cookies with frosting and holiday sprinkles and some Ruby Thumbprint cookies, not to mention a new snickerdoodle recipe.

It’s a little difficult to imagine how many people these cookies alone will serve, however I have vanilla cake and chocolate guinness gingerbread ahead! I’m almost positive that I’ve started to crack. But in the most delicious way.

photo 1

Chocolate Christmas Cookies with Glaze

1 1/8 cups soft butter (2 1/4 sticks, 18 tbsp)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
Topping:
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
candy sprinkles or sanding sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F Line a cookie sheet with parchment or Silpat.

Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Sift 1/3 c cocoa powder into the mixture and beat well. Sift together flour, baking soda and baking powder, and add to mixture. (Optionally, combine everything in a food processor and mix until combined.).

Form 1 tbsp sized balls. Place on cookie sheet at least 2″ apart, pressing down into fat discs. (The dough will be very sticky; gloves may be a good idea.).

Bake 15 minutes. The tops will develop a cracked appearance. Cool 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack until completely cooled. (Placing a sheet of newspaper under the rack will help catch drips in the next step.).

For the topping, combine 2 tbsp cocoa powder with confectioner’s sugar, boiling water and vanilla in a small saucepan. Heat over low heat and whisk until smooth. Cool 10 minutes.

Drizzle 1 tbsp of glaze on each cookie, spreading lightly with the back of the spoon, then sprinkle with sprinkles or sanding sugar. Work with 6 cookies at a time so the glaze doesn’t dry out before applying the sprinkles.

photo 2

Saveur Snickerdoodles

3 cups flour
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda
1⁄4 tsp. kosher salt
1 3⁄4 cups sugar
16 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 1⁄2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt; set aside. Using a handheld mixer on medium speed, beat 1 1⁄2 cups sugar and the butter together in a medium bowl until pale and fluffy, 2 minutes.

Add 2 tsp. cinnamon and the vanilla; beat for 1 minute more. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add reserved dry ingredients; mix on low speed until just combined.

Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes.

Heat oven to 375°.

Combine remaining sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Remove dough from refrigerator and, using a 1-tbsp. measure, spoon out 48 portions, rolling each portion into a 1″ ball as you go. Roll each ball in cinnamon–sugar mixture to coat.

Arrange dough balls 2″ apart on 2 parchment paper–lined baking sheets. Bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool.

photo (1)

Guinness Gingerbread

1 1/4 sticks 10 (tablespoons) butter, plus some for greasing
1 cup golden syrup (such as Lyle’s)
1 cup (packed) plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 cup stout (such as Guinness)
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/4 cups sour cream
2 eggs

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F.

Line your cake pan with aluminium foil and grease it, or grease your foil tray.

 Put the butter, syrup, dark brown sugar, stout, ginger, cinnamon and ground cloves into a pan and melt gently over a low heat.

Take off the heat and whisk in the flour and baking soda. You will need to be patient and whisk thoroughly to get rid of any lumps.

Whisk the sour cream and eggs together in a measuring jug and then beat into the gingerbread mixture, whisking again to get a smooth batter.

Pour this into your cake/foil pan, and bake for about 45 minutes; when it’s ready it will be “gleamingly” risen at the center, and coming away from the pan at the sides.

Let the gingerbread cool before cutting into slices or squares.

(I garnished my gingerbread after slicing, with some powdered sugar and pine trees with deer)

photo

Strawberry Thumbprint Cookies with Glitter (Adapted from Curry and Comfort)

1 box yellow cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup canola oil
almond meal as needed (about 2-3oz)
Strawberry jelly as needed ( or any jam/ jelly you prefer… strawberry, raspberry, grape, etc…)
Edible glitter (if you have any)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix everything except the glitter and almond meal,  in a large bowl, making sure it’s all well incorporated. Roll dough into 1 inch balls and roll again in the almond meal. I used a bowl to roll the dough in to make it easier to get the sides coated. The dough is very sticky, so this step isn’t necessary but a nice touch.

Using your thumb or index finger, indent a hole in the middle of the cookie, making sure not to go too low. Fill with your choice of jam/jelly.

Bake for 13-15 minutes. Let cool completely (about 15 minutes) before topping with glitter.
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About JR

I'm passionate about a lot of things in life. I grew with a unique set of experiences that have guided me throughout my life. I currently work as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst in sunny CA providing treatment to kiddos in the private sector. Adventure, food, love and laughs are my top priorites.

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